IMDb > Elmer Gantry (1960)
Elmer Gantry
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Elmer Gantry (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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Elmer Gantry -- Trailer for this epic tale of an all American boy


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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Brooks (screenplay)
Sinclair Lewis (from the novel by)
View company contact information for Elmer Gantry on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
July 1960 (USA) See more »
The screen has never known a man like ELMER GANTRY See more »
A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won 3 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"You're all sinners! You'll all burn in hell!" See more (82 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Elmer Gantry

Jean Simmons ... Sister Sharon Falconer

Arthur Kennedy ... Jim Lefferts

Dean Jagger ... William L. Morgan

Shirley Jones ... Lulu Bains

Patti Page ... Sister Rachel

Edward Andrews ... George F. Babbitt (as Ed Andrews)

John McIntire ... Rev. John Pengilly

Hugh Marlowe ... Rev. Philip Garrison
Joe Maross ... Pete

Philip Ober ... Rev. Planck

Barry Kelley ... Police Capt. Holt
Wendell Holmes ... Rev. Ulrich
Dayton Lummis ... Eddington
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Antrim ... Salesman in Saloon (uncredited)

Larry J. Blake ... Mac - Bartender (uncredited)

Peter Brocco ... Benny - Photographer (uncredited)

Budd Buster ... Valet (uncredited)

George Cisar ... Salesman in Saloon (uncredited)
Ralph Dumke ... Salesman in Saloon (uncredited)

Sally Fraser ... Prostitute (uncredited)
Everett Glass ... Rev. Brown (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... Hobo in Boxcar (uncredited)
Mary Adams Hayes ... Salvation Army Worker (uncredited)

Jimmie Horan ... Train Passenger (uncredited)

Charles Horvath ... Hobo in Boxcar (uncredited)

Rex Ingram ... Preacher of Black Congregation (uncredited)

Colin Kenny ... Extra at Revival Meeting (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Radio Station Official (uncredited)
Joanna Lancaster ... Child in Audience (uncredited)
Sighle Lancaster ... Child in Audience (uncredited)

Norman Leavitt ... Salesman in Saloon (uncredited)
Robert P. Lieb ... Lincoln Police Captain (uncredited)

BarBara Luna ... Prostitute (uncredited)
John McKee ... Photographer / Reporter (uncredited)

David McMahon ... (uncredited)

Charles Morton ... Man Destroying Revival Tent (uncredited)

Ed Nelson ... Man on Phone at Sister Sharon Headquarters (uncredited)

William H. O'Brien ... Train Conductor (uncredited)

Gloria Pall ... Girl in Brothel (uncredited)

Milton Parsons ... Revivalist (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Man at Revival Meeting (uncredited)

John Qualen ... Sam - Storekeeper (uncredited)

Dan Riss ... Radio Announcer (uncredited)

Max Showalter ... Deaf Man (uncredited)

Marjorie Stapp ... Lady in Red on Christmas Eve (uncredited)

Bert Stevens ... Choir Member (uncredited)

Jack Stoney ... Revival Tent Roustabout (uncredited)
Ken Terrell ... Blind Man (uncredited)

Dale Van Sickel ... Salesman in Saloon (uncredited)

Ray Walker ... Salesman in Saloon (uncredited)

Michael Whalen ... Rev. Phillips (uncredited)

Guy Wilkerson ... Janitor in Revival Tent (uncredited)

Jean Willes ... Prostitute (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Brooks 
Writing credits
Richard Brooks (screenplay)

Sinclair Lewis (from the novel by)

Produced by
Bernard Smith .... producer
Original Music by
André Previn (music by)
Cinematography by
John Alton (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Marjorie Fowler (film editor)
Art Direction by
Edward Carrere  (as Ed Carrere)
Set Decoration by
William F. Calvert (set decorators) (as Bill Calvert)
Frank Tuttle (set decorators)
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins (costumes designed by)
Makeup Department
Harry Maret .... makeup
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup (as Robert Schiffer)
Joan St. Oegger .... hair stylist
Production Management
Gilbert Kurland .... executive production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Shaw .... assistant director (as Thomas P. Shaw)
Carl Beringer .... assistant director (uncredited)
Joseph Pevney .... second unit director (uncredited)
Rowe Wallerstein .... assistant director (uncredited)
Robert Webb .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Hudson Ratabaugh .... propmaster (uncredited)
Sound Department
Fred J. Brown .... sound effects editor (as Fred Brown)
Harry D. Mills .... sound (as Harry Mills)
Eldon Coutts .... recordist (uncredited)
Sol Jaffe .... mike man (uncredited)
Andy Payne .... cableman (uncredited)
Paul Baxley .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Charles Horvath .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard H. Kline .... camera operator (uncredited)
John Livesley .... head grip (uncredited)
Harold May .... best boy (uncredited)
Andrew J. McIntyre .... camera operator (uncredited)
Val O'Malley .... camera operator (uncredited)
James Saper .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Al St. Hilaire .... stills (uncredited)
Harry Sundby .... gaffer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tom Dawson .... costumer (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Leonard Doss .... color consultant (uncredited)
Music Department
Ken Darby .... associate music supervisor
Ving Hershon .... music editor (uncredited)
Kenyon Hopkins .... conductor (uncredited)
Albert Woodbury .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Thom Conroy .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
John Franco .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Jerry Ludwig .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
146 min
Color (Eastman Color)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Sound)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Portugal:(Banned) | Portugal:17 (censored) | South Africa:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video) | USA:TV-PG | USA:Approved (PCA #19593) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Among the writers Gantry condemns in one of his sermons is Sinclair Lewis, the author of the book the film is based on.See more »
Anachronisms: Sister Sharon is seen briefly outside a movie theater advertising a film. The title is not given but the stars names are given as Rudolph Valentino and Agnes Ayres, suggesting that the film is almost certainly _The Sheik (1921)_. But then in the scene with the newspapers in Sister Sharon's office, the headline on one is about death of Isadora Duncan, suggesting it was sometime shortly after Sept. 14, 1927 (date of her death). Since Zenith, Neb., wasn't exactly in the mainstream, it seems more logical that the movie house was playing an old movie since the first talkie, _The Jazz Singer (1927)_, wasn't released until a month later. So, the time line would place it in 1927, the year the book first was published.See more »
Lulu Bains:Oh, he gave me special instructions back of the pulpit Christmas Eve. He got to howlin' "Repent! Repent!" and I got to moanin' "Save me! Save me!" and the first thing I know he rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps!See more »
Stand Up, Stand Up for JesusSee more »


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33 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
"You're all sinners! You'll all burn in hell!", 5 June 2005
Author: Billie from United States

"Elmer Gantry" is an amazing film that does not seem dated at all, having lost none of its bite or appeal with the passing of time. Taken from the classic Sinclair Lewis novel of the same name, director Richard Brooks garnered an Oscar for Best Screenplay for his adaptation, and Burt Lancaster won his sole Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Elmer Gantry. Gantry is an over-the-top opportunistic traveling salesman who teams up with evangelist Sister Sharon Falconer (Jean Simmons) to promote religion in 1920's America. Gantry turns out to be the perfect publicity compliment to Sister Sharon, who, unlike him, is a true believer. Where she is quiet and gentle with her manner of preaching, he is all fire and brimstone, literally throwing himself about the audience and inflaming them into repentance.

Burt Lancaster commands the screen: all flashing teeth, athletic energy, charisma, and wild hair, using his own physical prowess to great advantage. The angelic and lovely Jean Simmons, who had legions of adoring male fans when she was in her ethereal prime, portrays Sister Sharon (loosely based on a well-known real-life revivalist of the early 1920's, Aimee Semple McPherson, about whom I'd heard from my grandmother) in a manner reminiscent of her character in "Spartacus" - she was the perfect choice for this role, as was Lancaster for his.

Shirley Jones was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her lively portrayal of prostitute Lulu Bains, whose past history with Gantry comes back to haunt him, with some of the best lines in the film - gleefully laughing as she dances about a room full of her fellow prostitutes, she recounts that "He rammed the fear of God into me so fast I never heard my old man's footsteps!" Watching Burt Lancaster in his prime use his athletic ability (he was a circus acrobat before he became an actor) and physical grace helps make his performance truly electrifying. And he also manages to believably evolve Elmer Gantry from loud-mouthed salesman to a sympathetic and honest human being over the course of the film.

The top-notch supporting cast includes Arthur Kennedy, Patti Page, Dean Jagger, and John McIntire.

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